Paleo Pear and Pumpkin Spiced Applesauce

2015-10-11
 

In the Maryland area, fall is here!  The leaves are slowly starting to change and there is a pleasant chill to the air.  I had my first tall cup of apple cider when we took my daughter to the local Renaissance Festival for her first birthday.  It was a great reminder that I had wanted to recreate that warm, spicy sweetness at home.  What better way to embrace the season than a homemade applesauce with a twist?

My one year old, Emiliana, has reignited my interest in pears.  As an expectant Mom, I mused about making all of my daughter’s foods in my own kitchen, but the reality has been different.  After the balancing of breast and bottle feeding proved overwhelming and time was of a premium, I discovered that there was a vast and relatively inexpensive world of pure and organic foods packaged for our convenience!  If you’re a parent, no judgment either way!  I applaud anyone that is simply able to get more food in their child’s mouth than on their face or on the floor!  I attempted to prevent my daughter from gravitating toward only sweet things by starting her with veggies, but not surprisingly, she still prefers anything mixed with fruit.  Her favorite?  Pears.

Being the official taste-tester of all my daughter’s foods, I try each food item before she does… especially after I didn’t taste the plain ground meat before giving it to her and she dramatically gagged and spit it out. :)  I found myself loving the pear combinations as well, and it reminded me that I used to love the pear sauce from Trader Joe’s.  Cue the near divine experience I had on a blustery afternoon at a festival with some cider – the non-alcoholic kind 😉 – my recent obsession with pumpkin, and bingo! – the paleo pear and pumpkin spiced applesauce was born.

I used honeycrisp apples because they are my favorite.  Even though they can be on the pricey side, I find it is worth the extra money for what I consider the perfect combination of sweet, tart, and crisp!  Using these apples in concert with the Bosc pears created the perfect level of sweetness.  

This recipe is so simple, so quick, so easy to prepare, and your kitchen will smell amazing as it simmers in the slow cooker!  I am also happy to report that the taste is phenomenal.  The addition of canned pumpkin not only creates a fun fall color, but it also creates an additional layer of flavor and texture that brings this applesauce to the next level.  With no added sugar, a touch of lemon, and a healthy helping of cinnamon, the result is a satisfyingly sweet and complex flavor profile worthy of breakfast or dessert!

Enjoy it warm or cold.  Can’t decide?  Perhaps topping a warm bowl with some cold ice cream will do the trick.  Okay, so ice cream isn’t paleo… but it can be lactose free… and with such a healthy applesauce, one can afford to indulge a little too. 😉

Ingredients

  • 4 large honeycrisp apples, peeled and cubed
  • 3 bosc pears, peeled and cubed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) canned pumpkin
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of water (fill up the pumpkin can with water after pumpkin is removed)
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • 1. Rinse apples and pears, dry skin, and peel (I left little ribbons of skin on for added texture, but that is optional)
  • 2. Cut apples and pears into 1/2 – 1 inch cubes and place in large slow cooker
  • 3. Over diced fruit, add lemon juice and stir with large spoon to evenly distribute fruit and juice
  • 4. Add 1 can of pumpkin to the slow cooker, then fill the empty can with water and pour over fruit mixture, stirring well
  • 5. Stir in cinnamon, cap and cook on HIGH for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or on LOW for 6 to 7 hours – Apples will be fork tender when cooked
  • 6. After applesauce is finished cooking, mash to desired texture with a potato masher – or immersion blender for a smoother texture – in the slow cooker
  • 7. Serve warm out of the slow cooker or chilled
  • 8. Enjoy!